• Josh Hughes


Every other Friday, we'll be doing a deep dive into the world of new music, reviewing the cream of the crop of fresh songs for you to check out. We took a little break over the summer, but we're back and raring to go. On that note, let's do another mega-big special, because, again, we love you. In this invigorating return, we've got junk punk from Birkenhead, surf pop from Essex, and tight pop-punk from Manchester.

Wanna bang these on whilst you read? There's a Spotify playlist below!

Wanna support an artist? We've linked all Bandcamp pages on the cover arts where possible!

If you have an upcoming release and want it featured, email thecactusparadox@gmail.com or submit through the website at the bottom of our home page!


Cavalier Attitude "Oh Wow!"

released on 13/08/21

Cavalier Attitude

Formed from the ashes of Mugged By A Ghost, Newtownabbey's Cavalier Attitude are already looking to make waves with their infectious pop-punk tinged sound. With their long-awaited second single "Oh Wow!", they've honed in on a sound not too different from fellow countrymen Ash, with a pulsating verse that explodes into an anthemic chorus garnished with hooky melodies and catchy harmonies. The production isn't too clean behind the ears either, with a punky bite that doesn't disappoint. Singer and bassist Daniel Graham gives a standout performance here, exhibiting a worthy frontman performance in a studio environment. "Oh Wow!" is fun, catchy, and definitely a tune that makes Cavalier Attitude ones to watch in the next year or so.

FFO: Ash, The Gaslight Anthem, Cloud Nothings

Danica Dares "Run"

released on 30/07/21

6NOT4 Records

Danica Dares may be a familiar name to some, as "Paranoia Party", a single from their upcoming debut album, was one of our first Fresh Meat features back when we launched in March. The aforementioned LP Curing The Lunatic dropped last month, and it's sounding phenomenal, but "Run" could already be in contention for a spot on our top 50 at the end of the year. Coming in at the halfway point of the album, it's a moody atmospheric number, tinged with an 80s sound that would make Robert Smith blush and a vocal performance that would make Debbie Harry simultaneously fume and applaud. Check out the full LP review tomorrow!

FFO: The Cure, Blondie, New Order

Crapsons "That Bit Between Christmas and New Year"

released on 19/07/21

Society Of Losers Records

The boys are back in town! Birkenhead junk punk duo Crapsons have proven themselves as one of the best straightforward DIY punk bands to come out of the UK in recent memory with a gaggle of spectacular singles, and "That Bit Between Christmas and New Year" is no exception. Mike Markey's bass work is an improvement over prior works, giving his vocal melody a catchy undertone whilst also sounding raw and punchy, and Andy Gilbert's minimalist drum set up still manages to sound as good as someone on a full kit, and the addition of a kazoo in the singalong chorus genuinely lifts the tune up. As for the tongue-through-cheek lyrical content, it's what Crapsons are known for these days: bashing Tories, sun-soaking influencers and anti-vaxxers, but also encapsulating the feeling of the UK lockdowns in the space of 2 minutes with wit and charm to boot.

FFO: Half Man Half Biscuit, Slaves, Crass

Feeder "Torpedo"

released on 25/08/21

Big Teeth Music

Feeder are back! And they're sounding heavier than ever before, judging from new single "Torpedo", the title track from their upcoming 11th album next year. It's the Welsh outfit's first release since 2019's Tallulah, and it packs a punch and a half. Reminiscent of the edge on previous albums like Renegades and All Bright Electric, "Torpedo" storms about with a killer riff before brightening up for a soaring chorus in classic Feeder style, but also aligned with the melodic riffage found on some of Puppy's work. After Tallulah's admittedly mixed bag of sounds and influences, it seems like Grant Nicholas and co. have gone back to basics and doing what they do best, so let's hope this is a sign of the alt rockers heading in the right direction.

FFO: Puppy, Manic Street Preachers, Dinosaur Pile-Up

Rooskin "Eloise"

released on 20/08/21

Southend Sun Club

You wouldn't think Rooskin are from Essex, but rather a sun-soaked quintet plucked straight from the West Coast. However, their ethereal laidback sound of "Eloise" washes over the eardrums like a luscious late afternoon wave, and it sticks around like sand to your toes. It glistens in its carefree and hazy horizons as frontman Rob Humm carries the tune with some outstanding vocal melodies, and the rest of the instrumentation is enriched with stellar production.

FFO: Wallows, Pizzagirl, boy pablo

Getaways "Alright!"

released on 06/08/21


What a hit of fresh air Manchester's Getaways are! One of the many bands formed during the pretty dismal year known as 2020, they come out of the gate with a headstrong debut single that wastes no time making itself welcome. "Alright!" sounds like the kind of banger you'd find getting raved about in late-2000s era Kerrang!, though what makes it fresh and heavily appealing is the combination of excellent vocals and plucky guitar work, supported by some cracking rhythm work.

FFO: Paramore, We Are The In Crowd, Milk Teeth

The Baltics "Homeless Kids/Character Arc"

released on 02/07/21

The Baltics

I'm a big fan of The Baltics after getting to listen to this tune on repeat for nearly two months. "Homeless Kids/Character Arc" is a moody blend of post-punk and stoner rock that grooves and moves and has a meaty yet distilled sound to it. The Newcastle upon Tyne trio have crafted a psychedelic yet memorable slice of gold here, giving an incredibly impressive performance whilst also balancing a dark tone with an upbeat air about it, and then topping it off with pop-friendly vocals. The bass work is also a highlight here, probably some of the best I've heard from anything we've had sent in. Don't be surprised if you see these creeping up psych festival bills in the next year.

FFO: King Krule, Radiohead, Sam Fender

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